Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Again I must say how much I adore my repeat customers. Their support means so much to me and so does their uncanny ability to make requests when I really need the kick in the rear to tat. Yesterday I got another request for the tatted dream catcher earrings with a spider and a got them almost complete. They just need their spiders today and then I can send them off to their new home.

Before that request though I was cross stitching. Speaking of cross stitch, here are the ones I was
talking about over the weekend that got framed.I still don't know where to put them, but they will eventually get a permanent spot on a wall somewhere, because everyday is Halloween when it comes to our home decor.

Back to the other cross stitch though, here's a bit of that one. I'm almost finished with the border, just one color left to finish. I told you it was a simple one. After that color is done, then I need to graph the new saying for the center. The current one is a little cheesy for my tastes. I also plan on adding a few small details to it once that's done that should make it more, 'me'. It should be done sometime this week and hopefully that will be enough wasted time that I will feel compelled to design again.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Last One

The last thing I made for the last order I got was a custom pair of dream catcher earrings. It seems only fitting that since a spider spun the first dream catcher, that one day I would be asked to add a spider to the web. I first tried to find some spider charms to add, but I'm glad that I didn't find any. The small tatted spider is just right for it.

I finished these and got everything in this last order in the mail on Saturday morning and then the shop went dark again. Instead of tatting I spent the weekend on small craft projects. I got small laser cut frames for some Halloween cross stitches I made last year. I painted the frames black and got them all put together, but not on the walls yet.

Then when that was done, I dug through the bag of old craft kits I was gifted and pulled out a really simple cross stitch from the 1980's to work on. I'm going to rewrite the statement in the center of it, but otherwise, it's keeping me busy as is.

Oh, one more thing before I go, we went and saw The Boxtrolls over the weekend and it was brilliant. It's got nice, quirky, awkward British humor, but the most amazing part is during the credits where they show you just how much work goes into stop motion animation. Anyway, I just thought I'd recommend it, since we were so impressed.

Again, I start the week with no tatting projects in queue, so here's looking forward to some surprises and tasks to keep me busy.

Friday, September 26, 2014


You know what I absolutely love? Repeat customers. I have just a handful of wonderful people who come back time and time again to have me make something for them. It is especially lovely when I'm in that, 'the shop is dead' mood and one of them pops by to get a few things. Really it just turns my mood right around as I get to work and I start to feel useful again. I think that that is the worst part about the slow shop really, the feeling of uselessness. That somehow your work is no longer needed in the world, so why bother. It's a good thing that I have an otherwise happy and stable life or that could really mess with my psyche.

So as you no doubt guessed, I got an order in yesterday with some pieces that needed making. This not only gave me something to do yesterday and likely today as well, it gave me things to take pictures of to share with you. This first one is a pair of my chanmaille earrings that I call The Twenty. I was asked to do a slightly different colorway for the ombré effect. I honestly like this one better than the golden orange one I had already made.

The second one here are my Pinwheel Swirl post earrings. I initially made these up in colors I thought would sell as is, but every pair I've sold since has been a unique combination that I would not have thought of making. These color choices are clearly Halloween hues and though I have no intention of adding them to the shop like this, the listing is already set up for customers to choose their own colors, but I might change the listing photos to include them.

I still have more work to do on this order and that makes me very happy. I should have it all done today since I have no other tasks to work on though. So here's to a lovely day with lots of tatting in it.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Twilled Again

Nothing new and interesting happened to break the monotony. No sales nor ideas and with the last embroidery kit done, I was at quite a loss for something to do with my sitting time. I would like to thank everyone for the lovely comments regarding my embroidery attempts and especially SWtrompeter for the idea of sewing it to an existing pillow, which is right up my lazy alley. As soon as I'm able to get a suitable one, that's most likely what I'll do.

I remembered late in the afternoon that I had quite a lot of scrap muslin and I decided to do some more twilling. I used a free PDF pattern from Urban Threads and made this little piece of nonsense. It's their logo, so that's why it's free, but it certainly looks like something I would make regardless. It's far from perfect, but it gave me something else to do with the time devoted to clearing off my DVR with the kids. 

I think I am going to buckle down and maybe try to get back to some designing today. I did a bit of tatting yesterday, but nothing of consequence and I really need to do something to jump start sales in the shop if I don't want this year's holidays to be ramen and i.o.u.'s. Hopefully the Muses will be kind.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Done With That

My day was a bit thrown off yesterday by one of the cats exhibiting the symptoms of a bladder infection. Not the kind that one can politely ignore either, the messy, obvious, take me to the vet now, kind. So that's what we did. As soon as the office was open we made an appointment that was right in the middle of schooling. This drew schooling out much longer and I didn't even really sit down until well after lunch. The cat seems fine by the way. A few shots and she seems right as rain.

Once I did get a chance to sit down and work I was finally able to finish stitching. Here it is in all it's unwashed, unpressed, straight off the hoop, glory. Of course I looked at the directions for turning it into a pillow and I'm afraid the concept seems far too fiddly for me to even bother. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it other wise though. I suppose I could frame it, but that seems silly somehow. I'll figure something out...eventually.

Well, that brings me to the end of my stalling project and leaves me with little to do. I think I said that I'll work on snowflakes until a sale finally distracts me, but hopefully I find something more interesting to do instead. At least I managed to learn something new while stalling this time.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


As predicted, there were no tatting tasks for me at all yesterday. After schooling was wrapped, it was
straight to the stitching project. I worked on it on and off all day and I'm still not quite done yet. There is a hell of a lot of twilling on thing. Good thing I find this stitch enjoyable.

I've made so many small mistakes on this kit that it's probably going to look pretty bad when I'm all done with it though. I'll still finish it and turn it into the pillow it's meant to be. Then, when people ask about it, I'll just claim I made it when I was first learning and fail to mention how recently that actually was. They can assume I made it as a kid and I won't correct them. Well either that or I'll just hide it away somewhere. I just want to finish the thing.

Again, no orders in queue and no ideas for new tatted pieces either. That means another day of stitching and I'm hoping that I can finish today, or at least get really close to it. Then I guess I'll get back to using my spare time to make snowflakes for my mother-in-law and continue to cross my fingers for sales.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Weekend Recap

I don't think I touched a tatting needle all weekend, but I certainly managed to keep busy with other projects and not just the embroidery. On Saturday I finally put together the headpiece for my oldest daughter's Halloween costume. She decided on a Dia De Los Muertos costume. We're still not sure how she answers the question, "What are you?", but we're still doing it. I was pretty impressed with myself for figuring how to do this with absolutely no technical knowledge on the subject. I used two different kinds of silk flowers, some lace fabric left over from a formal dress my mother made me in high school, a headband, hot glue and lots of wire. It appears surprisingly sturdy.

That wasn't the only costume accessory I put together this weekend either. The other daughter wants to be Gamora from Guardians Of The Galaxy. The costume I could buy, but she needed rings and I wasn't going to spend money on many rings for a child who wont be able to wear them in a year. So I got some thick, flat, craft wire, some metal files, and I fashioned a half dozen adjustable rings with it. Yep, I was on a Halloween roll, never mind that it's still well over a month away.

All other sitting time I devoted to the embroidery kit. I am on the last stitch and it's my new favorite stitch ever, twilling. It's that stitch in cream at the top of the photo and I still have plenty of it to do before I'm well and truly done. My new least favorite stitch ever, the bullion stitch. It hurt my fingers and even though I got better at it as I went, it still looks nowhere near as good as the example photo. If I never do that one again I'll be pretty happy. Back to the twilling though, I kind of want to do that all over the place.

I'm still without any new orders in the shop, so that just means more stitching today. I'm afraid if sales get any further apart I'm going to forget how to make things. Maybe I'll pick up the tatting needle for a while today just so I don't lose my edge. Or maybe I will get an order and I'll have to pick it up. Here's hoping.

Friday, September 19, 2014

That's Done

Let's see, the order in queue got finished and out into the mail just after schooling wrapped. Then I ran some errands. Once we were back and settled again, I got the replacement piece completed and tossed into the lace pile. You do not want to see the lace pile. It is large and unwieldy.

I did some stitching for the rest of the day and I did in fact finish up all the satin stitch areas so I got to move on to outlines.  I did not, however, get any photos of my progress. I guess I was having yet another lazy day.

Unfortunately I have no more tatting in queue so today will be likely added to that long list of lazy days I've had this summer. Hopefully both they and the bloody hot days will soon be replaced with their Fall counterparts. I would really rather enjoy being cool and busy now.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

This and That

After schooling much of my day was waiting for Apple devices to update. Of course that does come with it's fair share of sitting about, so I got back to stitching. I did indeed make it to the next stitch in the design. Unfortunately it's the one I'm pretty sure I'm bad at, the satin stitch. My daughter looked over and said, "That one looks much easier than the other one." I proceeded to explain that somehow it's simplicity makes it the easiest for me to screw up most visibly. I still managed to get most of that section done though.

About this time I got a new order from the shop. I didn't hear it come through because apparently the new update to my phone has messed with my notifications. Hopefully that all gets sorted soon, because I do adore that cha-ching sound, but I digress. The order was a piece that I actually wanted to remake, so down the embroidery needle went and out came the tatting one.

I'm still only about halfway through remaking this necklace so that gives me some tatting to do today as well. Then it's back to the stitching. I've become rather determined to prove I can finish this thing even though it's clearly not my strong suit. I can be a wee bit obsessive when I put my mind to it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


As predicted schooling took up the morning and then I got the custom order finished and in the mail. This just left me with the stitching again. I'm still on the same stitch, but three colors in now. Of course the second and third color were just slight variations of the same color, so it's hard to tell that I've done anything different.

There was nothing new from the shop to do, so the stitching was all I did and it's the plan for today as well unless someone surprises me with an order or something. If I'm stuck on the embroidery, I'm hoping I can finish all the chain stitching and move onto something different at least. Though as usual, I would be pleased as punch to be distracted from this by some tatting. You know I just keep writing it so that maybe the Universe gets the hint and drops some benevolence. Here's to it then.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Thankfully yesterday's illness hasn't progress past the headache and sore throat, so I was perfectly capable of getting some things done. Schooling did demand the entire morning, but after lunch, I got tatting done. This is the beginning of a custom order necklace. It's going to grow up to be one of my Grand Daisy pieces, but the customer also wanted beads in just the center two daisies, so I added some swarovski crystals. It's amazing how a nice color change and a little sparkle can alter a piece so much.

It's not quite finished yet, it still needs it's hardware and a little pressing, but I should have it out in the mail to the customer today.

Since that was my only project, today will likely be back to stitching again. It really is slow going, at least compared with my speed of tatting. I've spent years getting fast with that needle and it's hard to slow my brain down to the speed of my fingers with this, but at least they're still busy. Here's hoping for more tatting busy, soon.

Monday, September 15, 2014


Another tatting free weekend, but this time it was kind of on purpose. With no orders in queue, I chose to hone my stitching skills when I had time to sit. I even managed to finish one color of the design and move on to the second. I've still only worked the same kind of stitch though, so clearly I'll be at this one awhile. Saturday we went off to the Renaissance faire for the morning and the evening was spent in a fairly rare bout of socialization with friends. In the middle, there was being tired, some stitching and even some reading. I had watched a movie on Friday that made me want to read the book it was based on and thanks to the wonders of modern electronic books, I could read it immediately.

Sunday was our normal errands and probably due to the usual amount of energy expending on Saturday, it was mostly sitting about after that. Also I think that the kids gave me their most recent cold, or whatever it is. I've got the 'it'll hurt if I swallow' throat, some lovely cold sores, and a quality headache right now. If it follows the same pattern, I'm about to get quite congested and snuffly. Really looking forward to it.

Late in the weekend I did receive one custom order request that managed to get all the way to ordered, so I do have a tatting project for today. Hopefully I won't be too under the weather to get it done quickly and get a photo to share. Aside from the sick, it's a good way to start a new week.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Something Else

Yep, it's yet another one of those, I got nothing for you days. After schooling we headed off on some Halloween errands. Yes, I'm aware it's barely the middle of September. The children have been contemplating their potential costumes for months though and after some killjoy, reality checks from me, they settled on some. One was ordered and the other required a trip to get large silk roses to make a headpiece. That's what we were off buying. I could have gotten straight to work on making that, but I think I'm still sussing out the details in my head, so something for another day.

After some wandering of the house and searching for long lost things, and the subsequent allergy attack from the dust, I sat down to do some candlewicking.  Why? Well mostly because I had been gifted someone's needlework stash that included cross stitch, embroidery and candlewick kits some time ago and I ran across them while searching for something else. I had nothing better...that I actually wanted to do, so that's what I picked. It's a kit for lilies on a pillow and since I haven't worked any of these stitches since I was taught as a child, it's at least a little challenging. It's also blissfully time consuming. Maybe after I relearn all the stitches, I can get some of the clever embroidery designs I've seen about and make those in my increasingly frequent spare time.

I've nothing better, that I want to do today either, so more stitching instead of knotting is likely. Hoping to take a trip to the Northern California Renaissance Faire this weekend as well, so that should keep us busy and then exhausted.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

In The Shop

https://www.etsy.com/listing/203027490/tatted-lace-woven-star-flower-fascinator?Yes, I was lazy again yesterday. I really need to get some more sales, or just consistent sales so I'm forced to stay focused and work most of the day like I ought to. I did however, get the new hair piece/fascinator listed in the shop.

I've been getting a we bit frustrated with messages lately as well, and that's not helping my motivation. I've been receiving custom inquiries and random tatting questions and  after I promptly answer, I hear nothing back at all. Not a 'thank you for answering so swiftly', not a 'sorry, never mind' or even a 'let me get back to you'. Just nothing. Sorry to vent, it's just frustrating. I want to help people, but it just feels a bit like a one way street as of late. Oh well, I'm sure it'll pass.

Again I start the day with no tasks aside from schooling on my schedule. Hoping for something new and interesting to happen during the day doesn't seem to be working so I guess I'll try something different and just focus on something else entirely. Now, if I could only think of what that should be.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


So I was a little lazier yesterday than I had planned. I did get the last row completed on the new motif and it turned out just the right size. I took this photo just as I cut off a length of thread to weave that last row. Someone on the Facebook made a comment that I didn't quite understand, but I'm guessing it was a reference to how this nonsense wouldn't happen if I was a shuttle tatter. Yeah, well...I like my needle too well to ditch it because of one fiddly technique. More importantly I identify as a needle tatter and my skills lie there.

As I was saying, I got the last row done. It did take a couple of false starts to get the right pattern for it, but once I had it, it worked up quickly. The chains on the outside just go over the edge of the hat base, making it just perfect as a hair piece/fascinator. While I did manage to get it sewn to the base. It made it nowhere near getting listed in the shop. I still have to get some good photos on my wigged mannequin head that don't look tacky and then figure out how much it should cost.

There's a slight chance that I'll get it in the shop today, if I can stay focused. Again, I don't really have anything else to do with my day save for schooling in the morning. Here's to something new and interesting for today.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Motif Grows

Schooling has been blissfully efficient. They haven't really gotten into any big projects yet, so we're done fairly quickly with very little fuss from the children. This also has me in possession of more free time in the afternoon than I had anticipated when school started, even with things like laundry. I know that it's temporary, so I'm trying to take advantage of it.

I still didn't want to remake the back drop necklace, so I did a little drawing, then I suddenly felt creative again and began to grow the Star Flower motif. At first I was thinking that I would avoid any more woven elements, but once I really got down to it, it wanted to continue the weaving.

I used the ecru and black one to grow with because I had made two, one without a hanging ring. I managed one ecru round and one more black round. The amount of cut thread I had to deal with for these rounds was ridiculous and quite a tangle.

I was initially thinking barefoot sandals, but I've since decided that it is much more likely to become a hair piece/fascinator. It might need one more row though and I am dreading how much cut thread I'll need for that one. I still have some small hat bases from my other fascinator, so I might get it finished today, assuming that the next row turns out alright. I just start tatting and hope that I understand the lace well enough to pick the right stitch counts as I work. So far so good though, so I'll cross my fingers and we'll see what happens today.

Monday, September 8, 2014

New Week

There's always something about the first weekend after schooling starts. I really don't want to do a thing, but I also wanted to get out of the house.  Then there's sleep, even though I get plenty of it, I spend the entire weekend yawning. It's a mystery.

Friday did see the new pattern get listed in the shop. If you missed my extra post with the links it's here. I did sell a handful of them over the weekend, but even better I had one good custom order to work on. It was just what I needed, something that had to be made. It always makes me buckle down, focus, and get to work.

I did sell a couple of other things over the weekend, but only one of them will need to be remade for the shop. It's one of my back drop necklaces so I'm likely to stall on that one. Not because the tatting portion is hard, but because there's a lot of work that goes into making the chains for them and I'm not really in the mood for pliers and wire right now.

I also used some more of my weekend for repairing old drawings again. It's kind of like coloring, meditative, but still creative and it balanced out the weekend quite nicely. This week has no plan other than schooling and avoiding that one piece I ought to remake. I did have a couple of customer inquiries regarding custom orders, but once I answered their questions, or tried to in one case where the piece they wanted altered wasn't actually mentioned, I didn't hear back again. Maybe they'll return and give me something that needs to be made again. That would make the week just right.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Star Flower Pattern

The pattern is listed now.

Not Quite Yet

I was hoping that I'd be able to tell you the pattern was up in the shop this morning. I did finish getting it all put together and I sent it out to a test tatter that responded to my request for someone to proofread it quickly, hoping that they'd try out straight away for me, but I haven't heard anything back yet. I know, I'm mighty impatient. Hopefully I hear back early and can still get it listed today.

Yesterday was just schooling followed the above mentioned pattern making. In fact once it was done and away I started drawing. Well, not drawing really, but redrawing. The husband had been cleaning out our shared computer room and I went looking for something only to come up with an old drawing pad. There were some finished and not so finished pieces, so I grabbed my pens and fixed and finished some. Of course it's been so long that my pen hand was achy, but at least I felt creative while I was impatiently waiting.

If I do get the pattern up today or tomorrow, I'll some back and post the link to it here as well as my usual places. I'm crossing my fingers now.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Pattern On The Way

Schooling has been going rather smoothly. I know it's only because we have yet to get into the real meat of the courses, but I am glad that we're getting eased into it again. This has also given me more free time this week than I had anticipated, so I actually got up to something you might care about.

I went ahead and started writing up the pattern for the Star Flower motif/pendant.Of course with a piece like this, that includes some slightly less common techniques, the more important part was taking in progress photos. The pattern itself is short and simply written, but making certain that it's put together in the right way, that's the challenge.

I've got all the photos taken, now it's just a matter of putting all the information into a nice looking document. This will probably take much of the afternoon today. There's a slight chance I'll get it up in the shop today but it's much more likely that it will happen tomorrow or Saturday.

I certainly hope that there are actually a few of you out there that actually wanted this and I hope I'm not just asking for more drama with it. Well here's hoping.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


The school day was shorter than I thought because so many of their lessons were 'introduction to' lessons. So we finished in plenty of time to go to the Park Day. They had fun and we got to be the oldest family in the group for the first time. There were so many new families to the school this year, it was kind of weird, but I got to look all sage as they asked questions to which I most assuredly had the answers.

Since that went so swimmingly we did some shopping on the way home including some accidental Michael's Halloween shopping. They had some great pieces on sale to add to our everyday decor. By the time we got home it was only lunchtime so I was able to get to a little tatting.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/202118325/tatted-boutonniere-lapel-pin-hat-pin?I went ahead and turned the new star flower into a lapel pin, hat pin, boutonniere. I mean once you stick it on a pin, it's really whatever you want it to be. Again, it was a royal pain tatting around the pin hardware, but it turned out well. I went ahead and added a swarovski round to the center to hide the silver of the pin. The center ring is just big enough to show far too much of it.

I didn't think I'd get it listed in the shop, but there was still light and I managed to get motivated enough to do it. So the Star Flower pin is listed with your choice of colors and a coordinating bead in the center.

Today's schooling is likely to be far longer since we'll be onto the meat of the lessons. I think the kids really were ready to get started again though. Three months of nothing is quite enough for any kid, or me. So I don't know if I will get to any tatting. I haven't had any orders for days and I think my idea well is dry for the time being. I guess we'll just have to see what the day brings.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


I did it again. Or I suppose I didn't do it again. I mean I didn't tat anything at all yesterday. We went on a walk, we shopped for, but didn't buy, a new kitchen faucet, because crap, are those expensive. Then we all headed to the eye doctor where we had appointments. That pretty much finished up the day. Sure we did a lot of sitting about, but I just wasn't motivated to make anything.

I don't have much faith for today either. We have schooling, a Park Day outing, likely followed by more schooling. I think the time of the outing was ill planned if they actually wanted anything accomplished on the first day, but I'm certainly determined to not get behind already. Well that's it then. I'll try to tat if I get time, but it's not a priority, so tomorrow's post will probably be a bore as well. Sorry in advance for that one and sorry for this one as well.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Star Flower

On Friday I got far more creative than I had intended. I had already finished the bulk of the cleaning the house needed and I found myself with an idea of something to create. While woven, or Celtic tatting can be a pain in the neck with the needle, because of the long lengths of loose thread needed, I was in the mood to create more of it.

This was actually the second version as I had done the first in all black. Unfortunately, it really does need two colors so you can see the different elements intertwined. After this one I just kept going and eventually added a small lock chain loop to one of the outside joins so it could be a proper pendant.

I got them listed in the shop on Saturday after some family adventuring. It was pointed out that in red and white it looks like a Tudor Rose and I concur, but I also noticed that the rings also form a star in the center, so I named it Star Flower. There is a slight chance I'll work it into a lapel pin as well, but only free time will tell.

Speaking of which, if I do get some free time I might work up the pattern to sell or share. I'm not certain yet, so don't quote me. Due to some pattern sharing/selling drama in the not so distant past, I had really thought about not doing any more ever. I don't like the added stress it brings to my life, but I actually had the thought when making this one, so maybe I'm over it...for the time being. Again, I really don't know because homeschooling is about to start back up and that takes precedence over everything, but I guess I wanted to share that I was even thinking about it.

One last day off before schooling starts and we have eye doctor appointments. Then I need to really get the school area ready to go and hopefully sneak a little time for more star flower tatting. Here's to a busy week ahead.